Sometimes when you want to convey something that is very important to you, you just don’t know where to begin. You start and the words tumble out like toys in an overstuffed box that has been emptied, and you sort out the pieces and take what you were looking for. That’s exactly how I feel right now.
My first book (yes, I am going to be a published author!) will be out soon. It is in press right now. The book will be available at all major bookstores in India, (all the Crosswords and the Landmarks) and also on the Internet on Rediff and most likely Amazon as well, by 25th of this month.
The book is based entirely on my blog posts. There are many posts which have been adapted, and many new ones as well. It has been a long journey of two years. I started the blog to overcome my absolute shock, deep grief and my broken heart, when I lost the person who meant the world to me.(Click here to read all about it.) I never thought that my writings would touch so many people and help them too, along the way. I started the blog to help myself—It grew. Beyond what I thought, envisaged or expected. Many people wrote to me, asking me to put it all in a book, and I began working on it.
“Never tell anyone that you’re writing a book, going on a diet, exercising, taking a course, or quitting smoking. They’ll encourage you to death.” Said Lynn Johnston. I agree with the quote. Many months back, when I mentioned that I am writing a book to a few close friends one said “Look–as a blog what you have written is okay—not as a book.”
Another one said “Poore Indian Publishing Industry ko tera hi intezar tha–ki tu likhegi aur ve publish karenge. Tu likh jo tujhe likhna hai.”(As though the whole Indian publishing industry is waiting for you to write and they publish it. You write whatever you have to.”) Imagine pouring a bucket of ice-cold water on a person who is fast asleep. That is exactly how I felt .To say that I felt discouraged is putting it mildly. Very mildly. But fortunately for me, hope came in the form of two other good friends, (to be specific Ajay Chauhan (That’s his pic on the left) and Niall Young) and Satish Shenoy, my husband. They really believed in me and my writing. I held on to their words like a drowning person holds on to the last bit of wood floating. And I desperately wanted them to be right. I completed my manuscript and then began the long process of finding a publisher, researching about the Indian publishing industry, writing to them, correspondence, phone calls—waiting, waiting and more waiting. I could not believe it, when I got a ‘Yes’ from two publishing houses—that too well known ones! I decided to go with Srishti publishers (who have brought out many well known titles like ‘Anything for you M’am, ‘Funda of Mixology’ etc.) It was only after I signed the contract that I told my other friends. Most were thrilled. And some were—well, forget it. It’s not worth writing about. Ajay did a LOT for me. I feel extremely fortunate to have him as a friend. He dug out information, he spoke to people who had been-there-done-that, made notes, called me a countless times in between his hectic and stressful work schedule, put me in touch with Amit Gauba, a graphic designer, and kept following up with me about the progress of the book. Amit and I worked together for the book cover; We sat up night after night, discussing concepts, looking at options and deciding what has to be there.(Whew—I never knew it could be so difficult.) He brilliantly executed what I had in mind. (And we came up with 26 different covers, before finally choosing this one.) I admired his patience and his efforts). Cherrisa, another of my closest friends gave me a lot of moral support and kind words. She was, I think, even more thrilled than I was, when I first told her the news. Satish was so very supportive. He held the fort down (making dinner after he came back from work, reading to the kids, ironing their uniform, doing studies with them, sorting out their fights) while I huddled over my computer, writing, re-writing, editing, re-thinking, contacting people and doing a million other things that go into making of a book. I feel blessed to have him as my husband. K.S. Narayanan (To us, he is just KS) who is a good friend to Satish as well as me, helped in reading, refining and also giving a ‘third person’s view’, as did Ajay and Cherrisa. Rohit Srivastwa,(thats his pic on the right) another good friend, sat up for three consecutive nights along with me, till 1:30 a.m and put together my website. Apart from his regular job and his Clubhack activities, he is now also the Technical Director of CYG (Common wealth Youth Games) and is one really busy guy. The only time he could spare was after 9:00 p.m, when he finished his official work. He has so much of patience and explained to me many technical things. (I have no idea about web designing or registering domain names, hosting it or anything else) He also gave me useful links that helped to execute a few things I had in mind. So finally it was done (With friends like these I couldn’t fail!) and —Here It is!!! http://34bubblegumsandcandies.com/
When you log on to the site, on the right side, you will see an option asking you to ‘Join the Circle’. Please do click on it, and it will take you to the ‘Bubblegums and Candies Circle.’ Signing up is just a 10 second process. Do put a picture in your profile as well. There are widgets and badges to grab, which you can put in the side bars of your blogs.(if you feel like helping me promote the book) There are other interesting like minded folks to meet, forums to have discussions on and also events that will be happening in your city. The formal launch in Pune is on October 4th, Saturday, at Crossword, ICC trade towers. The author book-read meet at Bangalore is on October 10th, Friday at Crossword, Residency road. If you happen to be in either of these cities, do come—I would love to meet you. Do confirm attendance if you are coming. (At the Bubblegums and Candies circle page) Seats may be limited as the events are being held at the book store. Ironically my dad isn’t here to share my joy. September 7th is his second death anniversary. (It still hurts deeply to even say it) I am going to Kerala to be with my mom. She needs me. I may not be able to visit your blogs or reply to your comments for a while. In the acknowledgements section of the book, I have thanked my blog-readers and my online friends who cared enough to leave comments and read what I wrote, and connected with me. Your words meant a lot to me.So much that I have written a book. A heartfelt thanks.